The Hokusai Walk

“Voice of the Mirror” will be the sequel to “Voice of the Sword”, and as research, I went to the Hokusai Dori – the street between Kinshicho Station and the Edo-Tokyo Museum at Ryogoku Station. This used to be the heart of ancient Edo, the place where the artist Hokusai was born, and where he lived most of his life. The areas of Honjo and Mukoujima are now areas of anonymous looking offices, apartment blocks, garages … but the ghosts linger.

Looking east from the Hokusai Dori, the Mukoujima area is now totally dominated by the brand new Tokyo Sky Tree. Incidentally, if you click on the photo and bring it up to full-size, it looks completely unreal; as if someone has transported a building from a Hugo Gernsback or Isaac Asimov story and transported it into 21st century Tokyo.

The maps all mention the Hokusai ‘Open Gallery’. This means that the street itself is an art gallery, with reproductions of Hokusai’s Ukiyo-e woodcuts placed on posts all the way up and down the street. Shoppers, retired strollers, salarymen on their way home, construction workers tearing down the old neighborhoods and putting up reinforced concrete rabbit hutches in their place, all walk past them without looking up.

Here’s a close-up of one of them.

About J P Catton

Speculative storytelling and skewed fiction: the blog and website of author John Paul Catton.
This entry was posted in Japan, Literature. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Hokusai Walk

  1. Awesome things here. I am very glad too peer your post.
    Thanks a lot and I am having a look forward to contact you.
    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *